How to Help High-Energy Kids Fall Asleep

Helping high energy kids fall asleep


Our boys have energy like you wouldn’t believe.  If only there was a way to harness it…I am quite certain that they would produce more than one of those fancy schmancy windmills.  Their energy is good for many things, like making thundering noises running laps around our house while simultaneously waking up their sister.  Or wearing out our couch cushions from jumping on them so much.   Just to name a few…


But here are some tride-and-true suggestions for helping high-energy kids fall asleep (tested by yours truly):


1) Establish (and stick with) a routine.

A bedtime routine is crucial for high-energy children.  Determine what you would like your child to accomplish before going to bed (bath/shower, teeth brushed, pajamas, reading, etc) and then encourage him/her to do them in the same order each night.  Predictability is calming.


2)  Cut out the sugar for at least an hour before bed.

If you are going to serve dessert after dinner, just make sure to do so well before your kids are getting ready for bed.  A sugar high is a great way to set the stage for bedtime disaster.


3)  Limit the roughhousing.

My husband is such an amazing hands-on dad and loves to wrestle with our boys…but it definitely makes settling them down for bed much more challenging if they have just had a wresting match with their dad.  Roughhouse to your heart’s content…just do it well before bedtime.  We’re setting the stage for a calm, quiet bedtime routine.


4)  Diffuse lavender essential oil.

This is the tip that has made the BIGGEST difference in our going-to-bed routine!  In an attempt to combat Little Brother’s allergies, I have started diffusing 3 drops of lavender, lemon, and peppermint essential oils in the boys room during the night.  Time will tell if it helps with his allergies, but there has been one awesome side effect that I wasn’t expecting!  It normally takes them at least an hour from the time that we put them to bed to the time that they are actually asleep.  When I started diffusing these oils at night, they were asleep within 10-20 minutes!  It is seriously a miracle.  Other people say that rubbing lavender essential oil works on the bottoms of their child’s feet works, but this didn’t make any difference for my boys.

Please note:  Peppermint oil isn’t recommended for kids under 5, so be sure to leave that one out if your child is 5 or younger.

(And just so you know, I have been the BIGGEST skeptic about essential oils and still am not entirely sold on all of their touted uses, but this is one area that they have made a noticeable difference in our family.)


How do you help your high-energy kid to wind down for the night???




  • Share This Post:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Share this Post on Twitter
  • Email this Post
Filed Under: Parenting, Routines, Sleep


  1. Amanda says

    I’m right there with you in being a sceptic about the oils, but I have also noticed the lavender making a difference.

    I’d like to share that these tips are just as valuable for me as a busy parent who falls into bed exhausted every night but still can’t always go to sleep quickly.

  2. says

    #1 was the key for us. My son was very active so we made sure that he had an enjoyable night time routine including reading books, and then cuddling with Mommy for 10 minutes talking about the best and worst parts of his day (Hi/Low Game). We also made his bed super comfortable with his stuffed animals to keep him company. Thanks for sharing


    • says

      The stuffed animals are a great idea! Our oldest son used to get lonely before sharing a room with his brother, so that would be helpful as well! :)

  3. Jennifer says

    Hi Jenae!

    I am a huge fan of your blog (and book), and I have been following it for a couple of years. This is the first time I’ve ever had a question for you though.

    I have two young children, ages 4 and 3, and they both take 45 minutes to an hour to fall asleep at night. I have taken the same steps you have to get them to fall asleep more quickly, except for trying the essential oil. I’m just curious about one thing. If they fall asleep more quickly, do they wake up at their normal time the next day? In other words, do they get more total sleep?

    Thank you,

  4. says

    We use trampoline time after din er to calm her nervous system. We also use an audiobook while she’s falling asleep to give her something to focus on while allowing her body to calm down to rest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>